“Nondas” and “Aristotelis” were two turtles that have spent over a year in the ARCHELON rehabilitation center. They were successfully released back into the open sea the 21st of June 2011.
It corresponded with the beginning of our education program with the “People to People” Student ambassador program which takes place every year between mid-June and mid July. These groups have been supporting us for quite a few years now helping us by visiting the rescue center, doing volunteer duties or sponsoring a satellite transmitter for the monitoring of turtles.
“Nondas was found at Itea in July 2008. He only showed a light neck injury but was very stressed causing it to turn himself upside down. He also did not eat and necessary tube feeding made him more stressed. With time, isolation and specific therapies, we were able to calm him down and he started to eat by hand. During spring he started to eat by himself.
“Aristotelis” was found in Thessaloniki on the 25th of August 2009. He was a juvenile loggerhead of 40cm and a weight of 9kg and was luckily brought to the Veterinarian University where he was first treated. He was named after the University. He had a small head injury which was healing well but causing him to dive with great difficulty. He was fitted with a counter weight and received antibiotics and drips to deal with his buoyancy disorder. He started eating first by hand then from the bottom of the tank. He spent a lot of time on surface preventing him from a safe release. We finally decide to place him in spring in a bigger tank forcing him to spend time on the bottom.
They were both taken out by boat with the help of Aqua Divers Club. “Nondas” left after readjusting his buoyancy. “Aristotelis” shot straight for the bottom making his extended stay worthwhile.
I would like to take a minute to emphasize that the names given to the turtles are not chosen randomly. They are given by the people who found them and participated in their release. This creates a sense of pride and responsibility leading to more awareness from the people to the local communities. This change of attitude is important since we can’t be present everywhere that a turtle gets injured. Since I started this, my relation with these important people has become more personal, moved to a first name basis, and made it possible to meet some of them. I have personally regained hope in human nature which encourages me to promote this positive energy rather than blame the few irresponsible idiots that try to kill these pacifist creatures.
Thanks to all!